Sayouka Zongo of Upper Volta took the lead after the first stage of the Ivory Coast International Cycle Race on Saturday (2 August).
GV PAN Government minister, Mr. Laurent Dona Fologo, starts cycling race.
GV Cyclists set off along road and bystanders applaud. (2 SHOTS)
GV Cyclist followed by convey of cars head up hill. (4 SHOTS)
GV Cyclist passing country village with large crowds on side of road. (2 SHOTS)
SV Sign 'Yamoussoukro' where race finishes.
GV Officials at finishing line waiting for cyclists to arrive.
GV Winner and top place-getters cross finishing line at the end of the first stage of the six-day race.
SV Winner receives cup.
SPORT: CYCLE RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Sayouka Zongo of Upper Volta took the lead after the first stage of the Ivory Coast International Cycle Race on Saturday (2 August). The race is an annual fixture but this year's event has been dubbed 'The Coffee Week' because the eight-day competition has been partly financed by Ivory Coast coffee producers.
SYNOPSIS: The race began at Bouake, 208 miles (350 kilometres) north of Abidjan where Ivory Coast Minister for Youth and Sport Mr. Laurent Dona Fologo flagged the competitors away from the start. Riders from Niger, Senegal, Upper Volta and the Ivory Coast are taking part and each team in composed of six cyclists.
Organisers of the event hope the race will give fresh impetus to cycling in Africa. With this in mind the International Commissioner for the African Cycling Confederation, Mr. Mohamed Soufi, is adjudicating during the eight stages of the race. The course covers a total of 541 miles (896 kilometres) over carefully designed stages.
Three teams from the Ivory Coast are competing for the trophy, and in the two weeks before the race began team members took part in an intensive training programme under the supervision of two coaches.
The first stage of the race ended at Yamoussoukro on Saturday (2 August). First across the line was Upper Volta team member Sayouka Zongo. Mathieu Rodrigue from Senegal was placed second and Kra Konan from the Ivory Coast's 'A' team came in third. The race ends in Abidjan on Sunday (10 August).